Bond denied for teenager accused in shooting of 2 girls

July 14, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Prosecutors called Jermaine Louis a real and present threat to the community and it appears the court agreed as a judge denied the 18-year-old bond.

Investigators say Louis pulled the trigger as many as six times when he allegedly opened fire on a passing vehicle.

Two un-intended victims were wounded in what some say it part of an ongoing internal gang conflict in the area.

An emotional Michelle Palm left court Saturday afternoon sobbing just moments after a judge denied bond for her son, who is accused of shooting two girls during a drive-by shooting.

"My son is a good, young man," Palm said. "Not saying he's a choir boy, not saying he's an angel. He's a black, young man struggling to find himself. I stand by my son 100 percent."

Louis has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in the West Pullman shooting that wounded two teen girls.

"We are happy that he turned himself in," said Corey Henderson, the victim's uncle. "Maybe this will be a big change for the rest of his life because he could have took two lives."

In court, dressed in a white t-shirt and blue jeans, Louis stood silently as prosecutors accused the Bennet South High School student of opening fire on three people riding in a car near 117th and Ada.

Investigators say 13-year-old Tishona Polk and 12-year-old Nakia Turner struck by gunfire as they walked from Cooper Park with friends, Polk in the stomach and Turner in the lower back.

Both were treated and released from an area hospital.

Authorities say three witnesses and the Turner identified Louis in a lineup.

"Because of the public outcry and the public reaction, the judge may have decided to deny bail in this case," said the defendant's attorney Carl Boyd.

Louis turned himself in to Area 2 detectives on Thursday after his family contacted Ceasefire Roseland to broker a surrender.

The anti-violence group is still working with Chicago Police in the neighborhood to prevent any retaliation.

"We are expecting that Mr. Louis, while he's in custody, will be in some type of protective custody or not in the general population," said Bob Jackson of Ceasefire Roseland.

Meanwhile, Louis' family maintains his arrest is a case of mistaken identity as they continue to stand by him.

"It's not what they say it is," said Jermaine Louis Sr., the defendant's father. "He's innocent. He didn't do it."

Louis' family also says they are praying for the two shooting victims, who they know.

Louis is due back in court next week.

Meanwhile, both girls are continuing to recover at home.

Their families, along with some residents, are hoping to take back their neighborhood by organizing an anti-violence activity in the park.

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